Kicking was a major part of the Super Bowl 44 champion New Orleans Saints’ run to the title. Check out this ranking of the top five kickers in Saints history.
5. (Tie) Thomas Morstead (2009-present)
Ok, Ok, I know Thomas Morstead is not one of the top five all-time Saints kickers. Heck, he’s never even kicked an extra point in the NFL. He’s a punter! And there were certainly a lot of raised eyebrows when the New Orleans Saints drafted Morstead with a 5th round pick. But when Thomas Morstead executed a perfect onside kick to start the 2nd half of Super Bowl 44, he earned a spot in New Orleans Saints history. Click here to see a story on Morstead and his kick.
5. (Tie) Garrett Hartley (2008-present)
Ok, Ok, I know it may also be a reach to include Garret Hartley. Heck, he’s never kicked in more than eight games in any NFL season. And he missed a short field goal versus Tampa Bay in ’09 that resulted in a loss. But when Hartley made a 40 yard field goal in OT to win the NFC Championship and he made three field goals over 40 yards in Super Bowl 44, he earned a spot in New Orleans Saints history. Click here to see Hartley’s NFC Championship field goal.
4. Doug Brien (1995-2000)
Ok, Ok, back to business. Following the departure of Morten Andersen, the New Orleans Saints needed a reliable replacement to fill his shoes. The Saints signed Doug Brien, who had been released by San Francisco, during the 1995 season. Brien would go on to spend six seasons with the Saints. In fact, his final season in New Orleans was 2000, the magical season in which the Saints won their first playoff game. Of all Saints kickers with at least 20 such attempts, Doug Brien is the all-time leader in 50+ yard field goal percentage at 65%. Brien also ranks third in Saints history in total field goals attempted and made. And he ranks second in made FG percentage at 82.6%.
3. John Carney (2001-2006, 2009)
John Carney joined the New Orleans Saints when Doug Brien was cut after 2000. At the time, Carney was already a 13 year veteran. The success he had with the Saints helped fans forget about the unpopular decision to release Brien. Carney was able to survive Sean Payton’s roster turnover in 2006, so he was able to kick for the first Saints team to ever advance to the NFC Championship. After two years away from New Orleans, Carney was resigned in ’09 when Hartley was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. John Carney ranks second in Saints history in total field goals attempted and made. And he ranks first in made FG percentage at 82.7%.
2. Tom Dempsey (1969-1970)
Tom Dempsey is one of the most beloved figures in New Orleans Saints history. Undrafted out of Palomar College, Dempsey made the Saints squad in 1969. One of the few stars of early Saints teams, Dempsey made the Pro Bowl and was an All-Pro during his rookie season, the only Saints kicker to do so until Morten Andersen. In 1970, with the Saints trailing 17-16 against Detroit, Tom Dempsey kicked a 63 yard field goal to win the game and set the NFL record for the longest field goal. Sadly, Dempsey always struggled with his accuracy and was cut prior to the 1971 season. Tom Dempsey is a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame. Click here to see his 63 yard field goal.
1. Morten Andersen (1982-1994)
Needing a solid kicker, the Saints drafted Morten Andersen, from Denmark, in the 4th round of the 1982 draft. “The Great Dane” would go on to shatter virtually every New Orleans Saints kicking record. Andersen, a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time first team All-Pro with the Saints, was on the first Saints teams to have winning seasons, win the division and make the playoffs. He holds the Saints record for field goal attempts and made field goals with 302, a whopping 139 over the second place Carney. He has also played in 196 games for the Saints, the most ever by just one over Rickey Jackson. Morten Andersen is a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
Statistical data found at pro football reference and the NFL’s official web site.
Check out these other great articles about the New Orleans Saints.
Top 5 All-Time Greatest New Orleans Saints Head Coaches
Top 5 All-Time Greatest New Orleans Saints Running Backs
Top 5 All-Time Greatest New Orleans Saints Wide Receivers